The future of the Alpine brand is increasingly hanging in the balance after the confirmation of a conversion of the Dieppe plant in conjunction with the end of the life cycle of theA110. The uncertainty about the fate of the sports brand, which has been the subject of press rumors for some days, has not been hidden by the president of Renault, Jean-Dominique Senard: “The Alpine is absolutely a beautiful brand but we must seriously evaluate the future of the brand for check how it can add value to the whole group. “
Last word to De Meo. Senard pointed out a fact that does not make production at Dieppe sustainable: currently, there are seven A110 units produced per day. “It is not enough,” said the French manager, describing the alternative of maintaining the current “status quo” in the French plant as well as in the Fonderie de Bretagne in Caudan as “impossible”. The final word on the fate of the Alpine will now be up to Luca De Meo, whoJuly 1 will officially assume the position of CEO of Renault. The Italian manager will have the task of providing more details, and not only on the future of the small transalpine brand.
The product plan will arrive at the end of the year. The Casa della Losanga presented today a restructuring plan which provides for numerous measures, including cutting the workforce and production capacity, but did not provide any indication on the product plan. In recent weeks many rumors have circulated about a possible downsizing of Renault’s offer with thegoodbye to several models, such as the flagship Talisman or the Scenic and Espace minivans, and a growing commitment to the most profitable segments of crossovers and SUVs. For a confirmation or a denial it will take a few months: De Meo will present his strategy “towards the end of the year”, said the financial director Clotilde Delbos as interim CEO (from 1 July he will join De Meo as deputy CEO).
The Nissan issue. Only then can answers be received, including on the division of production in Europe between Renault and its ally Nissan. In the plans of the two companies, there will be an increasing collaboration in the sharing of their industrial resources: the responsibility for commercial vehicles and city cars will be entirely for the French and that for the Japanese crossovers. Therefore, the production of the Suzanga della Losanga could be transferred to Sunderland, home of the Nissan Juke and Qashqai, to further exploit the benefits of the common platform. At the same time, the commercial vehicles of the House of Yokohama in the Old Continent, also in light of the decision to close the Barcelona factory, could be moved to the French plants. Therefore, De Meo will have to decide on the factories and products taking into account how the new business plan has put an end to the ambition of continuous growth in volumes to favor the search for solid and sustainable profitability. Another aspect will have to deal with the former Seat number one: consultations with the social partners on the fate of some French sites. For now, as Senard made clear, the most pressing issue concerns the Choisy-le-Roi site, near Paris, and its 260 employees. It will be the only site to close the gates before 2022, after which the same fate could befall other plants. Their fate depends on the assignment of models or products. So far no decisions have been taken to leave the final word to those who will have to revive the overall fate of all Renault.